Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (267,093 square meters) of lush, perfectly manicured landscapes hold a treasure trove of trees, bushes, and flowers that are sure to make anyone green with envy. The DeGolyer House, a 1940s-style Spanish mansion, is also located on the grounds. Tours of the house and its sculpture garden are offered. The Jonsson Color Gardens, A Woman's Garden, and the Lay Ornamental Garden are all exquisite features of the picturesque grounds.
The beauty of Texas' nature can be experienced first-hand with a hike through this 630-acre (146-hectare) preserve. With guided and self-guided tours available along the ten miles of wooded trails, outdoor enthusiasts can wander up to the Escarpment Nature Preserve, the highest point in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Along the way you can view ponds, wildflowers and a butterfly garden before arriving at vistas and an observation tower. The trails vary in difficulty. All are natural terrain paved with rock, mulch, or dirt. They are designed for foot traffic only, and bikes or roller blades are not allowed. Hikes can last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending upon the trail selected. A snack bar, gift shop, and amphitheater are also located on the grounds.
This historic site sprawls over 227 acres (918,636 square meters) and has one of the nation's largest collections of Art Deco buildings. Built in 1936, Fair Park is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It was built by the WPA to house the Texas Centennial Exposition, celebrating Texas' independence from Mexico. It boasts an inspiring list of museums including the African American Museum, Age of Steam Railroad Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Music Hall At Fair Park, Dallas Aquarium and Dallas Horticulture Center. You will also find concerts at the outdoor Coca Cola Starplex, college football in the Cotton Bowl, and the annual State Fair of Texas. The Visitor Center shows a 10-minute film about the park and offers walking tours by appointment.
Pioneer Plaza is more than just your ordinary park. A bronze ensemble of lifelike cattle punctuates this 4.2-acre (1.6 hectare) park overlooking City Hall and the Dallas Convention Center. Nationally-acclaimed artist and native Texan Robert Summers is the artistic force behind the unique sculptures. The 70 bronze steers memorialize the cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail back in 1854.
The historic Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park features lush, manicured gardens and a recreated Victorian-era town. Nestled near downtown, the expansive park is accentuated with beautiful homes and establishments. Volunteers demonstrate weaving, cooking and welding among other activities from that time period to those looking for an insight into Texan history. The site is an official history museum and is affiliated with The Dallas County Heritage Society. The society plays host to several events throughout the year; the annual Candlelight Country Fair and Old Fashioned Fourth of July draw major crowds.
Discover a South American rainforest filled with monkeys, colorful toucans, crocodiles, manatees and otters. The aquarium portion of this popular attraction features 85,000 gallons (321,760 liters) of saltwater containing marine life from around the world. Giant turaco, Three-toed sloths, Weedy and Ribbon sea dragons are but a few of the intriguing animals on display. An outdoor lagoon-like exhibit features Black-footed penguins.
A great testament to urban redevelopment and creating green-space within a city, the Belo Garden is a public park, open for all to enjoy. The former parking lot is now a lively hub of activity in the city and offers a great place to rejuvenate, relax, pursue fitness goals or simply enjoy nature in an urban environment. Especially popular with kids, is the interactive fountain where kids can play and socialize. With a lovely nod to the local flora and landscape, the Texas Grove is a sight to see in the autumn with it's dramatic oranges and golds, and the little gardens populated with local flora interspersed around the park are a lovely place to relax. If you'd like to enjoy a little quiet time and take a break from the chaos, stop by the park and enjoy the greenery in the heart of Dallas.
Dominating the city skyline for over three decades, Bank of America Plaza was and is Dallas' tallest building. Towering at 921 feet (280.7 meters) with 72 floors for commercial usage, this prestigious building is among the finest corporate addresses in the Central Business District (CBD). Completed in 1985, this iconic skyscraper has undergone several name changes in its existence. Its glistening modernist glass and steel facade is not only a landmark during the day but also during the night when it is luminous with colorful LED lights.
The Baptist Fountain which is inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ is located inside the Jeffress Fountain Plaza campus. The cylindrical center piece of the fountain has water gushing down itself and then spring up from the faucets which form the rim of the bowl. A 66 feet (20 meter) high cross stands proudly at the top of the fountain. On special occasions, one can witness the fountain's choreographed dances complemented with beautiful light installations.
Step into West End and you are instantly taken back in time. Beautifully restored and renovated old buildings among tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks, testify to the historical importance of this district that was established in 1872. Apart from the ancient buildings whose architecture never ceases to marvel, the district also has museums, amazing stores and delicious restaurants. Host to various events throughout the year, West End is definitely a hit amongst visitors and has something to offer for every individual!